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KAMIKAZE GIRLS – ‘Seafoam’ Album Review


kamikaze-girlsOn their 2016 critically acclaimed debut EP SAD, Leeds-based duo Kamikaze Girls wanted people to know that it was okay to be struggling. Front woman Lucinda Livingstone’s lyrics spoke honestly and openly about her experiences with everything from anxiety and depression to addiction – it was the way in which her truth bravely shone through the songs so strikingly that made the band stand apart.

On June 9th, the duo release their debut album, Seafoam, and it’s a winner. The duo may be a little more optimistic but they confront some deep and dark issues. Opening with the superb One Young Man full of barely restrained anger and pulsating music, you are drawn straight in. The up-front honesty of Livingstone describing being robbed at gun-point and the PTSD that followed the experience you cant help but empathize.

“I had a lot of night terrors and flashbacks,” she says of the experience “It pretty much wrote off that year of my life, and even these days anywhere I walk on my own or when it’s dark it’s in the back of my mind. I didn’t properly get over it until I moved to Brighton, so I didn’t have to walk near the same place anymore.”

Berlin is a rocking track dealing with self-confidence issues and I’m reminded of Bully (out of Texas) and a little Husker Du. The vocals touch on Lost Cherrees and/or the anarcho-punk female singing treatment – up-front, passionate and honest.

On Teenage Feelings Kamikaze Girls flirt with some Joy Division/New Order guitar work, pounding drums and those ‘dripping with emotion’ vocals that had me rooting for the band and wishing them the success they clearly deserve. The album is raw but accessible with strong melody throughout and some aspects of shoegaze as well.  Track four, Good For Nothing, chugs along slowly and full of atmosphere whilst KG Goes To The Pub hits you between the eyes with a fast paced punk rock beat and super chorus with some major F-bombs dropped throughout – loved this song with its Elastica meets Icons of Filth mash-up- this band demand and deserve respect.

Lights And Sound is an engaging ballad with an echo-infused guitar sound bending your ears and brain and is followed by a breezier riff on Deathcap that verges on a fuzz-pop-punk classic with more excellent guitar work…one of my favorite songs of the year so far!  Weaker Than is a ballad of astonishing agony dealing with attempted suicide and it leaves nothing to the imagination and its followed by Unhealthy Love with more autobiographical lyrics underpinned by a Siouxsie style musical backing.

I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever is the longest track on the album at well over five minutes and builds into a shoegaze classic that had me swaying in appreciation. The bonus track that completes the album, Anxious, a folk style guitar and vocal sort of early Billy Bragg and those blatantly honest and authentic lyrics…’wow’ is the only word that comes to mind.
Since 2014 the Riot Grrrl duo, have used music as a means to challenge attitudes and taboos surrounding mental health. Their aim has always been to show their strength and solidarity to other young people in the same position, and to work alongside other bands in the scene to help stamp out gender stereotypes in music.

Seafoam is a stand-out album and the Kamikaze Girls are growing into a wonderful bnad with their hearts on the sleeves and their anger leading from amplifiers and drums…get the album here: https://kamikazegirls.bandcamp.com/